Thursday, August 10, 2006

Tinfoil Hat

Home after a nasty day . . . I arrived at Union Station on what was the last metro train to stop there for hours. Got coffee inside and walked out to an enormous police presence--Mass Ave was shut down, firetrucks and amulances waiting. The metro was closed there for 4 hours at least, and the entire building was closed for part of that time--suspicious package again. It was frustrating--not even the local news media covered the shut down, and Metro itself had no information on it, despite the presence of a 'disruptions' link. Everything was shut down into the early afternoon, so I began to wonder how I would get home. But of course, at 5 pm everything is fine. I have to say I felt great exiting the system today and getting above ground.

Yes, the endless cycling coverage of what appeared to be the same set of 3 or 4 sentences:
1. no liquids or gels on airlines
2. everyone is frustrated
3. parents must taste baby formula in front of security
4. people have been arrested

My first reaction to this is, of course, concern and anxiety. My next reaction, slower than one of my very level-headed co-workers, is to start to wonder if this is all made up, just the same as a few months before the last congressional/presidential election when the Administration followed every bit of politically inconvenient news with some new terrorism scare. We are a sick bunch here, I guess, being so well-accustomed to political spin and so on--it's a living for many down here, right? I found myself thinking, well, so the British government says it arrested a bunch of people--well, where were they arrested? what are their names? where are they being held? I followed the news on the internet much of the day, and actual facts seemed to be in short supply. These are the times when the news stops being news and becomes an episode of Fear Factor. Then I read one of the Wash Post's 'Discussions' with one of their official columnist/bloggers who actively questions the Administration's competency in handling terrorism (I was surprised the Post actually let anyone do that), and felt comforted to know that at least I was not alone in my ill-defined skeptical paranoia:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2006/08/10/DI2006081000619.html

Hope the link works--I'm not good at embedding the links behind a cute piece of text right now--mostly lazy at the moment. More on poetry later tonight.

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